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Hi from Arizona!


arizonablue
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Hi! I think I'm gonna be spending a lot of time here so I figured I'd better introduce myself! I've been interested in bugs for quite a while, but I've only recently started expanding my collection and trying to raise larvae. Currently I've got a tank full of assorted darklings and velvet ants, although the majority are blue death-feigning beetles. I also have a giant millipede, a wolf spider (currently carting around an egg sac), cave crickets, flower beetles, and a pair of rhino roaches. I'm also making my first attempt at raising larvae with M. punctulatus, D. tityus, and some more flower beetles, as well as a handful of unidentified larvae I pulled from my darkling tank when I changed the substrate.

 

Some pictures of my little beasts!

 

The blues hiding out in the little "stump" in their tank.

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Currently knocked-up wolf spider.

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One of the flower beetles chowing down on dinner.

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A not-yet-gigantic rhino roach.

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A recently molted M. punctulatus. He decided he needed to poop during his photo shoot. Not classy, dude.

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Hello, welcome to the forum! :)

 

Very nice collection you got there, SO jealous of those M.rhinoceros, I have quite a few roaches but I don't have that species... yet. ;) Those Megasoma punctulatus are very cool too, would have seriously considered buying some from BIC if rotten wood and leaves were an abundant resource around here, unfortunately it's just scrubland around here though.

 

Very interested to see what those darkling beetle larvae turn out to be, what species do you have in your tank besides the BDFBs?

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Hello, welcome to the forum! :)

 

Very nice collection you got there, SO jealous of those M.rhinoceros, I have quite a few roaches but I don't have that species... yet. ;) Those Megasoma punctulatus are very cool too, would have seriously considered buying some from BIC if rotten wood and leaves were an abundant resource around here, unfortunately it's just scrubland around here though.

 

Very interested to see what those darkling beetle larvae turn out to be, what species do you have in your tank besides the BDFBs?

 

I'd never have thought I'd have roaches as pets, haha, but the rhinos don't really look like roaches unless you're looking at their underside. And they're nice and slow! (The fast roaches, like the ones I occasionally find in my apartment, are immediately evicted.)

 

I got three of the M. punctulatus, and all three molted this week. They're getting huge! I don't have much in the way of wood/leaves around here either (woo, desert life!), so I've been getting my substrates from Peter.

 

I've got a bunch of darklings in there and I'm not 100% sure what all of them are, but in addition to the blues, the ones I know for sure are Eleodes (acuticaudus, suturalis, tribulus, osculans), Cryptoglossa variolosa, Asbolus (laevis, papillosus) and Phloeodes diabolicus. I suspect that the larvae I pulled are E. acuticaudus since I've seen her laying eggs, but they could be anything. I have one egg that I know for sure is one of the death-feigners (laid in a container I plunked them in while I was cleaning), not sure if it's a blue or not though.

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I'd never have thought I'd have roaches as pets, haha, but the rhinos don't really look like roaches unless you're looking at their underside. And they're nice and slow! (The fast roaches, like the ones I occasionally find in my apartment, are immediately evicted.)

 

I got three of the M. punctulatus, and all three molted this week. They're getting huge! I don't have much in the way of wood/leaves around here either (woo, desert life!), so I've been getting my substrates from Peter.

 

I've got a bunch of darklings in there and I'm not 100% sure what all of them are, but in addition to the blues, the ones I know for sure are Eleodes (acuticaudus, suturalis, tribulus, osculans), Cryptoglossa variolosa, Asbolus (laevis, papillosus) and Phloeodes diabolicus. I suspect that the larvae I pulled are E. acuticaudus since I've seen her laying eggs, but they could be anything. I have one egg that I know for sure is one of the death-feigners (laid in a container I plunked them in while I was cleaning), not sure if it's a blue or not though.

Yeah, the rhino roaches almost look more like beetles than roaches, they are built like tanks! :) Hope they do we'll for you, they are certainly one of the coolest pet roaches available, and the most sought after!

 

Nice, hope you'll get a breeding pair from those three! Yeah I hear you about desert life, there's barely any rotten logs to be found here and the closest forests are pretty much all pine forests. -_- There are plenty of cool darkling beetles here though, which is nice.

 

Got quite a collection there lol! Like you said some of the larva are probably from the E.acuticaudus but with all those other species there are bound to be larva from others too. Nice that you got an egg from one of the death feigners, someone actually found out a way to breed these guys in decent numbers, you can read about it Here.

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Yeah, the rhino roaches almost look more like beetles than roaches, they are built like tanks! :) Hope they do we'll for you, they are certainly one of the coolest pet roaches available, and the most sought after!

 

Nice, hope you'll get a breeding pair from those three! Yeah I hear you about desert life, there's barely any rotten logs to be found here and the closest forests are pretty much all pine forests. -_- There are plenty of cool darkling beetles here though, which is nice.

 

Got quite a collection there lol! Like you said some of the larva are probably from the E.acuticaudus but with all those other species there are bound to be larva from others too. Nice that you got an egg from one of the death feigners, someone actually found out a way to breed these guys in decent numbers, you can read about it Here.

 

I'm hoping to eventually breed the rhinos, but they're still very teensy so I have a long time to wait, haha. One of them is looking like it might molt soon, though, so we're on the way!

 

I've lost a few of the larvae since I pulled them, but the ones that made it are growing quickly! I saw the post about the breeding, it's awesome that it can be done! Probably a bit more involved than I have the time for, though, as much as I'd love to do it. I'm hoping for one or two blues at some point out of sheer luck, haha.

 

You've got a pretty nice collection yourself! Let me know if you ever have any extra Eusattus muricatus you need to get rid of! ;)

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I'm hoping to eventually breed the rhinos, but they're still very teensy so I have a long time to wait, haha. One of them is looking like it might molt soon, though, so we're on the way!

 

I've lost a few of the larvae since I pulled them, but the ones that made it are growing quickly! I saw the post about the breeding, it's awesome that it can be done! Probably a bit more involved than I have the time for, though, as much as I'd love to do it. I'm hoping for one or two blues at some point out of sheer luck, haha.

 

You've got a pretty nice collection yourself! Let me know if you ever have any extra Eusattus muricatus you need to get rid of! ;)

 

Haha yeah, they sure take a while to mature lol! Hopefully you'll be able to breed them, they have a pretty great survival rate in captivity so yours should both mature if kept correctly, (and I'm sure they are ;))

 

That's good, can't wait to see what they end up growing into!

Yeah, it's pretty amazing, though the whole needing an incubator for good pupation thing makes it an expensive endeavor. Orin McMonigle has reared a handful of BDFBs to adulthood in the past without one though, so it's possible for you to rear yours to adulthood without an incubator. :)

 

Thanks, it was much bigger about a year ago, but then I got rid of a bunch of my darklings due to a pretty bad mite infestation, (including a thriving colony of Coniontis sp that I loved so much :(). I'm slowly rebuilding it though. :D Will definitely keep you in mind if I have success with the Eusattus that I have some larva to spare. Let me know if you ever have any extra nymphs when your rhino roaches breed lol!

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How much did you pay for the M. rhinoceros if you don't mind me asking?

 

I got them from Kyle on Roachcrossing, and I believe his prices vary based on size and what he has available. Let's say they were spendy but not as bad as I was expecting based on prices I've seen elsewhere. ;)

 

 

Haha yeah, they sure take a while to mature lol! Hopefully you'll be able to breed them, they have a pretty great survival rate in captivity so yours should both mature if kept correctly, (and I'm sure they are ;))

 

That's good, can't wait to see what they end up growing into!

Yeah, it's pretty amazing, though the whole needing an incubator for good pupation thing makes it an expensive endeavor. Orin McMonigle has reared a handful of BDFBs to adulthood in the past without one though, so it's possible for you to rear yours to adulthood without an incubator. :)

 

Thanks, it was much bigger about a year ago, but then I got rid of a bunch of my darklings due to a pretty bad mite infestation, (including a thriving colony of Coniontis sp that I loved so much :(). I'm slowly rebuilding it though. :D Will definitely keep you in mind if I have success with the Eusattus that I have some larva to spare. Let me know if you ever have any extra nymphs when your rhino roaches breed lol!

 

The rhinos seem pretty happy so far, so keep your fingers crossed for me!

 

Possible is good enough! My darkling tank was mostly just set up for display, but when I kept finding larvae anyway I figured I'd give them a fighting chance, so I put in some better substrate and will be poking through it every so often to pull out any larvae. I checked on the larvae earlier today and it looks like one is well on its way to pupating. (And is therefore probably anything other than a blue, LOL.)

 

Aww, sorry to hear, but glad you're rebuilding. I'll tell the rhinos they have admirers and need to get to work, haha. :D

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The rhinos seem pretty happy so far, so keep your fingers crossed for me!

 

Possible is good enough! My darkling tank was mostly just set up for display, but when I kept finding larvae anyway I figured I'd give them a fighting chance, so I put in some better substrate and will be poking through it every so often to pull out any larvae. I checked on the larvae earlier today and it looks like one is well on its way to pupating. (And is therefore probably anything other than a blue, LOL.)

 

Aww, sorry to hear, but glad you're rebuilding. I'll tell the rhinos they have admirers and need to get to work, haha. :D

Good, will do! :)

 

Cool, hope they grow nicely for you! :) Nice, how big is it? If it was an Asbolus or Cyptocercus larva, you'd know, they look much different than your typical Eleodes larva.

 

Yeah, I'm slowly getting more and more beetles, most of my bug funds have been going into getting more roaches though, they are my favorite insects. :D Thanks lol, hopefully they'll grow a little faster! :P

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  • 2 weeks later...

Also, where do you get your eucalyptus leaves for the giant burrowing cockroach?

Actually, you don't need eucalyptus leaves to keep M.rhinoceros, they'll eat any hardwood leaf like oak, maple etc., and feeding the wrong type of eucalyptus can easily kill them, so in the hobby we generally recommend you don't use any eucalyptus leaves. :)

 

Another common misconception with keeping these guys is that they need a deep substrate, but that's wrong too. These guys aren't substrate "swimmers", like many of the other burrowing roaches in the hobby, and if they molt while covered in substrate they can suffer massive deformities that are often fatal. In the wild they make large, cavernous burrows in soil that won't collapse, so they are never really covered in substrate, but in a terrarium filled with a loose soil like coconut fiber, they aren't able to make those spacious burrows.

 

So for the nymphs, you should only keep them on substrate that is as deep as the nymph is tall, which can make keeping them moist a bit harder, but if you just decrease the ventilation a bit and check on them frequently, they should be fine. You really have to make sure they don't dry out though, as that can be fatal.

 

Using these methods Orin McMonigle and several other keepers have been able to breed this species for generations with a nearly 100% survival rate.

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Do they need dead, decayed or dried hardwood leaves? Heat treated as well? Should you break them down before feeding it to them?

They need dead, brown dried leaves, the ones that have been on the ground for at least a few months. You should definitely heat treat them, as you won't want mites or anything hitching a ride into the enclosure. Whole leaves are fine, no need to grind them up. You should also feed them dog food and fruits, like most other roaches. :)

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Thinking about getting one. Better gather the supplies now before winter comes! Do white spots on leaves have any affect on the quality?

Well if you have the money, look into getting a pair so you can keep the population going!

Probably not, are they fuzzy? May be mold, which will die once you heat treat them.

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Not fuzzy, just looks like small white marks on it. Usually every bunch of dead oak leaves that I gather have them on it.

Eh, they should be fine, sounds like they were damaged by some leaf miner when they were still alive. Should be safe to use. :)

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Should I use a sand/peat moss mixture as substrate or just organic potting soil?

The sand/peat mixture would be best, again make sure the substrate is very shallow or else there's a good chance your roach will die.

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Can you send me links on how to set up their containers? Also, what sand should I use?

 

Don't think there are any sites that show you how to set up their enclosures, but Orin explained their care in a very in depth manner in his new book, "For the Love of Cockroaches". He says any enclosure that has a surface area of at least 10" x 10" and a height of 4" makes an acceptable cage.

 

For substrate he uses less than an inch of potting soil mixed with sand, and for hides you can use pieces of bark, those coconut huts they sell at pet stores, etc. Be sure to give them decent ventilation, and keep them pretty moist.

 

The primary diet is dog food, along with dead leaves. You can put a bunch of dead leaves on one side of the cage and add more as they eat them. One important thing, do not offer a food bowl or water bowl, as these guys can literally not climb at all and will get trapped and die in a food or water dish.

 

Play sand should work fine, or any fine grained sand, like repti sand for example, (but not calcium sand, that stuff is bad for bugs).

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Thanks so much dude!

No problem, happy to help! :) I've done a lot of research on this species over the years, can't wait to one day get them myself!

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Actually, you don't need eucalyptus leaves to keep M.rhinoceros, they'll eat any hardwood leaf like oak, maple etc., and feeding the wrong type of eucalyptus can easily kill them, so in the hobby we generally recommend you don't use any eucalyptus leaves. :)

 

Another common misconception with keeping these guys is that they need a deep substrate, but that's wrong too. These guys aren't substrate "swimmers", like many of the other burrowing roaches in the hobby, and if they molt while covered in substrate they can suffer massive deformities that are often fatal. In the wild they make large, cavernous burrows in soil that won't collapse, so they are never really covered in substrate, but in a terrarium filled with a loose soil like coconut fiber, they aren't able to make those spacious burrows.

 

So for the nymphs, you should only keep them on substrate that is as deep as the nymph is tall, which can make keeping them moist a bit harder, but if you just decrease the ventilation a bit and check on them frequently, they should be fine. You really have to make sure they don't dry out though, as that can be fatal.

 

Using these methods Orin McMonigle and several other keepers have been able to breed this species for generations with a nearly 100% survival rate.

 

Leave for a little bit and my thread blows up with info on rhino roaches, haha. Mine have been doing great on an oak mix. I put in bits of fruit and dog kibble but for the most part the leaves are what gets nommed on.

 

Thank you for posting the substrate depth info! I knew that it should be shallow, but the height of the nymph was something I hadn't heard, and if that's correct I probably had about three times too much in there. (I had about an inch.) There's now just a very thin layer of cocofiber with leaves on top, as the nymphs are quite flat at the moment, and I changed out their cork bark for one with a little more of a curve for them to hide under. Haven't had too much trouble keeping them moist, since I've got a plastic cover over two-thirds of the mesh lid, and as long as I mist them nightly it stays pretty moist.

 

The tank is quite a small one at the moment (10x6x6) since they're so teensy, but as they get larger I'll be moving them into a tank with more floor space.

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